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The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Exploring Science II students present their research findings

Lizzie ’27

Throughout the second half of the Exploring Science II (ESII) class, 8th grade students participate in an ongoing research project of their choice while simultaneously continuing with the regular class curriculum. Groups of three to five students go through the steps of the scientific method, which includes developing a question, designing an experiment, collecting data and analyzing results. Halfway through the process, groups present their proposal to an Institutional Review Board (IRB) comprised of teachers and Honors Research students in an effort to potentially revise their experimental design.

For their project, Sofia ’28, Ella ’28 and Nico ’28 explored the success rates of various note-taking styles. They split students into three categories: a control group that didn’t take notes, a group that took them digitally and a group that used pen and paper. All 15 students watched a YouTube video on a Chinese myth while taking detailed notes, or not, before watching a brief riddle as a distraction. The groups then got to review their notes for 30 seconds and were quizzed through a Google Form.

The results of the experiment were shocking for all three students. Those who abstained from notetaking received the highest scores, closely followed by handwritten notetakers.

“My mom won that argument officially,” Ella said, referring to her mother’s insistence that pen and paper notes are superior.

All three students enjoyed their leadership roles, as well as the creation of graphs and diagrams while conducting the experiment. Additionally, the opportunity for them to engage in a formal scientific experiment influenced their thoughts on pursuing science in the future.

“It was my first experience doing an experiment, so it kind of opened the doors to me,” Nico said.

Current Honors Research students reflect fondly on their 8th grade science projects. Some cite their interest in science as stemming from their research in ESII and enjoy the chance to take on the role of mentors during the IRB. After Honors Research student Libby ’25 served on the IRB, whom she had presented in front of four years prior, she realized how much of an impact the project had on learning the basics of experimental design at a younger age.

“I think what was really cool is seeing my growth throughout Marlborough,” Libby said. “And now, on the IRB Board, [the concepts I had struggled with] seemed like knowledge that I really know.”

Sofia, Nico and Nico will all present their results at the Celebration of Innovation in late April. The night, which is shared between the presentation of Honors Research and 8th graders, will highlight recent Marlborough scientific endeavors.

Overall, all of the students are passionate about their projects and their results.  They feel that they learned a lot from the process, and the groups look forward to sharing their work with the IRB board at the Celebration of Innovation later this year.

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Aoife '25
Aoife '25, Associate Arts Editor
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